The Originals

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I wanted to bring to light the original games that started it all for 2 of the most famous video game franchises of all time – Streetfighter and Punchout.  The reason is simply because many gamers nowadays know little of their existence.  While I tend to be more biased towards retro games, I still believe these 2 games to be the best ever in their respective franchises.  Its unfortunate many never got to experience them.  Hit the jump for more details.

Streetfighter (1987, Arcade)

[youtube.com/watch?v=UNdzDETPDBM]

This is the game that started me into fighting games.  I played this game in the arcades a lot growing up, and it was a big deal.  The arcade was buzzing when this game came out.  While this game is far from a simulation of a true street brawl, what I liked about it was that the general direction of the game was more towards realistic fighting.  Well at least, as close as possible with the technology available at the time.  Though the above video posted does not show the Hadoken, nor the famous Dragon Punch, it does exist in this original game. This is a simple fighting game for a much simpler time.  Later games in the series would go more towards the Manga cartoony styles, and away from the original style, and even later, more towards the outrageous.  I hope one day to see a Streetfighter sequel that goes back and explores the original Streetfighter roots.

Here are the rest of the games in the series in chronological order for comparison:

Streetfighter 2 (1991, Arcade)

[youtube.com/watch?v=TQL0RMtyees]

Easily the most famous game in the whole series.  I always felt it was overrated and never quite liked it as much as the original.  Whether its the best in the series is up for debate.  However, what is not up for debate is that this is a classic.  For Streetfighter tournaments, this is the one to play.  I think what initially surprised me the most were the Dhalsim and Blanka characters.  One had arms that could stretch across the length of the screen.  And the other could electrify like an eel, and had green skin.  Not exactly common people you would find on the street for a fight.

Streetfighter 3 (1997, Arcade)

[youtube.com/watch?v=MXSIsLWwwaY]

Streetfighter 4 (2008, Arcade)

[youtube.com/watch?v=ZIG_vAKAAl8]

 

Punchout (1984, Arcade) & Super Punchout (1985, Arcade)

[youtube.com/watch?v=4nN0WdidDQg]

Ok, now to Punchout.  This is the original Punchout.  The one you’ve probably never played.  It was fantastic.  The biggest difference right off the bat is the main character.  It is not Little Mac.  It’s a regular sized guy with green hair, whom you can see through the back.  He is also nameless, and is named by the player with 3 initials, common practice for an arcade game back in the day.   You will also notice the view is from the back of the main character and not the 3/4 overview of the boxing ring in the sequel, so it is a closer view of your opponent.  Though the video above does not show star punches (hook punches) being performed, but they exist.  Instead of hitting start for the star punch, there is a huge button on the right hand side of the arcade dashboard for the hook.  Also, the way you get the hook punch is completely different from the NES sequel.  Many of the characters seen in these 2 arcade games show up again in the sequels, but had their start in these original games.

Here are the rest of the games in the series in chronological order for comparison:

Mike Tyson’s Punchout (1987, NES)

[youtube.com/watch?v=hu69QEHhvNo]

Another case of a sequel overshadowing its predessor.  This is one of the finest games to ever grace the NES.  While the graphics aren’t as great as its arcade predecessors, just for the fact it was released on the NES hardware, it’s gameplay its spectacular.  It’s understandable why when people mention Punchout, this is the game that everyone thinks of.

Super Punchout (1994, SNES)

[youtube.com/watch?v=MgK1JoUQ2DQ]

Punchout (2009, Wii)

[youtube.com/watch?v=Y2XYfYszmEA]

My hope is to someday see these 2 original arcade games on the Wii U Virtual Console so that this generation of gamers can experience and understand what made the older generation fall in love with them in the first place.  Fighting Street (Streetfighter 1) for the Turbografx can be found on the Wii Virtual Console, but it is an extremely poor port.  The graphics did not translate well, and the controls translated even worse, though the sound comes close.

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Filed under Arcade, Capcom, NES, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Wii

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